Shrimp-cutting Machine For Cutting Intermediate Joints - Patent 8079896

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Shrimp-cutting Machine For Cutting Intermediate Joints - Patent 8079896 Powered By Docstoc
Description: This invention is related to a machine for cutting shrimp, and, more specifically, to an apparatus for cutting intermediate joints of shrimp bodies while leaving a first joint and last joint intact. Shrimp-cutting and deveining machines have existed for a number of years. An early version is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,702,921 to Pinney. Pinney, however, had several disadvantages. First, the machine used a feed drum to support the shrimp,which placed severe limitations on the degree of control provided to an operator during the cutting process. Second, the machine did not enable rapid adjustment of the cutting depth in accordance with the size and thickness of the shrimp. Third, thecutting mechanism was inside an enclosure, thus making cleaning and sanitization difficult. Another existing shrimp-cutting and deveining machine is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,290,199 to Morris. Morris discloses an improvement of the shrimp-cutting machine in Pinney by creating a more sanitary machine with a closed housing for a motorand drive mechanism, and by mounting the cutting mechanism externally and covering it with a protective shield. Morris provided the capability to adjust the depth of the cut by rotating an adjusting knob on the side of the housing, but utilized apolycarbonate idler roller similar to the feed drum in Pinney to support the bottom of the shrimp during the cutting process. The idler roller limited the adjustment capabilities, and the adjustment process was time consuming and could not be performeddynamically as shrimp bodies of different sizes were fed through the machine. U.S. Pat. No. 5,569,065 to Sawyer et al. improved on the Morris machine by utilizing two pairs of rotating flexible disks, an upper pair to grasp the top side of shrimp bodies and propel them past a cutting disk, and a lower pair to grasp thebottom side of the shrimp bodies and to dynamically adjust to shrimp bodies of different sizes. The Sawyer machine could also make a "butterfly"